Feeling jaded?

Feeling more than a little jaded, although had a lovely walk with Himself and pooches in the park today, very cold though, so have come home with a very natural and somewhat hearty glow!   Wearing an old, sorry, shouldn’t that be ‘vintage‘ Laura Ashley dress, so really looking the part of a hale and hearty country wench!  At least, that’s what Himself keeps suggesting, either that or my ears are bad again and it was something about me looking like a whale and warty!

Anyway, speaking of glowing chops, I happened across this a couple of days ago: freebie of Olay’s latest ward-off-the-advancing-years-slap.  Thought it might make a downshift-friendly change to my beauty routine (which mostly involves rubbing leftover porridge onto my face)!   Hopefully someone else can make use of it – the freebie that is, not my dubious (but cheap) skin-care routine!



Project calendar 2011

Ok, bit behind with getting these up too!    Week 3s fingerless crochet gloves are now over on the project calendar page, for anyone who is (a) interested (b) wants a laugh at my inability to write down a coherent pattern!    Hopefully you will be a visual person like me and be able to work off the basic idea and the photo!

This entry was posted on January 29, 2011, in Uncategorized. 1 Comment

Funny old week …

It’s been a funny old week!  The writing front’s taking off a bit, but I’m finding it exhausting just keeping up with the little bits I have so far!

Negative niggles:

😦    the pay for freelance writing is a bit rubbish, at least in this getting started phase!  I’m gratified that J K Rowling and Jackie Wilson both went through this poorly paid article writing phase, but I am well aware that they actually had genuine talent that paid off in the end!

😦   my poor Boo-bubby was sacked for taking time off work with his poor broken nose, even though he begged his GP not to sign him off.  He was given a ‘fit for work’note that said he could do a max of 3 hours a day until his stitches came out,which he did and they fired him for his work not getting done!   He’s not been there long enough to have any kind of redress with them and of course there’s no union support, so it’s all a bit pants for him.

😦  Himself is still suffering from nibbled spuds.

😦  I have to start saving up for a small procedure on Seamus – he is suddenly finding me incredibly attractive – although I have to credit him with being a gentleman and at least trying to lick my right ear first, giving me just enough time to remove myself:  actually, sounds like Himself has been teaching him some moves (mostly to the same effect)!

On the positive side, because there is always a positive side:

🙂  We found that the farm shop that sells the chitty spuds also sells coal a lot cheaper than getting it from our local garage (we can’t get a coal merchant delivery because there’s nowhere to store it).

🙂  Date night was moved to Thursday night for reasons to do with school being closed on Friday so Himself’s weekend started early.   It was a good night – there was a little garden porn, sorry, planning but this only featured for a short time as it really lost its way once Himself announced that he wants to incorporate an arbour into his design.   Since my ears aren’t best (even with regular dog-saliva rinses)  I thought he was talking about a harbour, you know, with boats (Himself is a Gravesend boy, so it was an easy mistake as he would actually say  ‘arbour for harbour) so we were at crossed purposes for a bit of a time – I really couldn’t see how he expected to build one himself, although the garden’s sufficiently wet that it might just be necessary at some point!   Anyway, eventually we agreed that he’d been talking about a structure around which to grow a creeper, to mark the break between the two sections of garden: these are currently the bit too wet to grow anything on and the bit too concrete to grow anything on, with both doubling as dog loo!   So, eventually there will be a bit to relax in, then a rose-covered walk through to the bit with raised beds and all manner of hearty greens and flowers growing,whilst of course the dogs will be pooping and scooping as they go!    Ah yes, the power of positive thinking!

Did you say chit or ….?

Well, no sooner have we started preparing produce for the allotment and having happy thoughts of harvest-time (not that I toddle around in some rosy coloured existence or anything) , than do we succumb to the very threat that reduces self-sufficiency efficiency: pests!

No, not Himself or the dogs, a whole other critter entirely!   Himself just went into the garage to check on his chitters  (I know, they were only lovingly nestled into egg boxes last night) when he came back aghast (for the uninitiated this involves a lot of frowning of brow and hoicking up of waistband in a varied range of movements including simultaneously and consecutively)!

“Something’s been at my spuds.”  As this declaration co-incided with a hoiking movement, I was about to respond with a glib, possibly rude remark, but thankfully the depth of Himself’s ensuing frown prevented me.   Instead, with a grimace that barely disguised the smile beneath, I managed to communicate a quizzical “do tell, dear” look.  Just as well because the telling was already on its way ….

“There’s been nibbling and there’s a dropping!”

“Dropping?   Perhaps it’ a chit?”

“Well it rhymes with chit, come and see….” so into the dark depths of the garage we ventured.   Now whilst a garage has a designated role to a house in town, do remember that our house in town is becoming a virtual cottage in the country, so instead of being for the purpose of housing our car, our garage is in fact our ‘outbuilding’, housing the freezer, my veg baskets, my carefully stacked paper logs, our coal and our home-made preserves: that is to say the remainder of my jams and chutneys from last summer and his sloe gin and chum vodka (needless to say we have more of the jams left than the spirits).   Oh and the garage also houses our decluttered stuff from the house because everyone knows that having a decluttered house means having a seriously cluttered garage whilst waiting for that Ebay free listing moment!

Anyway, we fought our way to his egg-box-bottom-bound spuds where Himself indignantly indicated what looked like a liquorice torpedo without its colourful sugar shell, alongside what was a seriously nibbled spud.

“It’s a mouse” he proclaimed.

“Looks more like a potato” I shrugged, turning my attention to the licorice.   “Is this a chit?”

“No, it’s a  …..   mouse poo!   We’ve got mice.”

“Isn’t that what happens when you’re growing your own food though, you have some for yourself and some for livestock?”

“Mice aren’t livestock” the frown was back, with both thoughtful and menacing effect at the same time  “Of course, it could just have been passing through.”

“The mouse or the poo?   Well, clearly the poo…..”

Ok, dear reader, the frown was now menacing, so I changed tack and tried agreeing with the theory.  “Ahh, passing through!  You mean like the Town Mouse and Country Mouse?   Nibbling your spud on its way to the good stuff at Marks and Spencers?”

“Well, as in not nesting here, but taking an opportunity for a nibble wherever it can find it!” Himself added soberly.

“Ahh, well … at least we know it’s a male then!”   I added brightly.   I meant this to cheer him up, in a “so we needn’t worry about it being a female with lots of babies to feed” kind of way, but he didn’t really take it like that.   So, now we have one less potato and a moody Himself who thinks I am not taking seriously the fact that his lovingly tended spuds have been interfered with.  I, on the other hand, am quite cheerfully practising both a positive attitude and solution based approach; indeed I am multitasking by happily looking up homeless local cats on ‘tinternet with one hand whilst teaching Seamus the skills of being a canine mouser with an old toy Tigger puppeting the other ! 🙂

The allotment where a lot is meant!

Today dawned dark and damp in our neck of the woods, well, crevice of the town, but the dismal weather was nothing that a pot of tea and hand-knitted hat / scarf ensemble couldn’t stave off!  Thus prepared, it was early this morning that we toddled off to survey the new landscape that is going to become so familiar from all angles, but largely I suspect from that close up angle that comes with prolonged crouching, you know, in the manner of street craps (dice games, not what dogs do)!

Yes, today was the day when plan B of The Quest came into play, when we saw our new half-allotment for the first time! The couple who have offered it to us were overjoyed to see us because they are desperate to scale down (the husband is still suffering from broken ribs) but they don’t want to let one half run to seed which would impact on what they are still trying to do with the other half.

So we happily had a tour of the plot as a whole and our ‘bit’, as well as the complete site and its amenities.   Now, I have to say, in those days before Himself knew me sufficiently to find out that I hated it and before I knew him well enough not to have to be on my best behaviour all the time (and therefore not whinge like a petulant princess about the absence of basic niceties such as mattresses and toilet tissue, or even toilets come to that) that we have been camping before and have therefore paid to stay in campsites  with less amenities than this lovely allotment site!   I was very pleasantly surprised (and not a just a little relieved)!

So, here’s a pic of our bit [actually, just updated it to a slideshow, no less:  checkout the technical wizzardry and blogspertise!

(Photos also over on The Quest page for anyone who’s interested)!


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It’s far bigger than we had hoped – at least twice the size of the hard standing aka The Quest, so it’s great that we have this chance to help the couple and reap the benefits of having our own ‘bit’, we do feel lucky and it means a lot that they asked us, even if a ‘bit’ has turned out to be a lot!

Himself has spent the whole week leading up to today in a state of barely contained excitement (only matched by the time in his life when he was old enough to realise that his granny owned a sweetshop)!   As a result he’s spent all available hours closeting himself away under the guise of doing his ‘school work’ but we both know he was furtively looking at seed ordering and growing-you-own-produce sites : thus this activity is known as looking at  ‘garden porn’ because he’s taken to jumping three feet in the air and innocently pretending to be deep in thought over National Strategies sites instead when I come in the room!  So of course today he just couldn’t contain himself and we’d only been back home for an hour or so before he’d dragged me back out again to a highly recommended farm shop to buy seed potatoes to start chitting-at least that’s the phrase I think he used: he said we can’t eat them, so it must have been “chitting” and not … something else!

Thus we take our first stumble towards some element of self-sufficiency, but I can’t help but feel that it’s taking over our lives.   This might be more information than you want to know, but we do try to have a sort of  ‘date night’ every alternate Friday when we are usually alone and not the living and breathing 21st century Brady Bunch, and it’s his turn to organise the next one.   My thoughts were wandering towards a cosy dinner and bottle of wine, but it’s already been suggested that the garden porn might be the main feature of the evening as part of a summit planning our produce planting! Hmmm, who says romance is dead eh?

Postaday 2011

I read somewhere that content is everything, but I don’t really feel like I’ve much to say today, but don’t want to be out of the Postaday habit.  So  I’ve installed the badge and am posting to say I’ve done so!

High spots today:   Went to the hospital today, feeling rubbish and came away feeling considerably better,  not because of any miracle cure (or even any treatment, come to that) but just by comparison to some of the sights you see.  Feeling humble and lucky in equal measures!

Low spots:  Have realised that I have been keeping the dog shampoo in the bathroom cabinet aside the stockpile of toothpaste, Himself’s razors and to-be-used toiletries whipped from hotel rooms.  I’m not sure what kind of person this makes me.  It is possible that it is actually my brain that is downshifting.

Book club anyone?

Is anyone getting the chance to read much lately?  I’m tending to flit about a bit myself, between different books and my ‘must read soon’ pile aside the bed is getting close to becoming a handy bedside table for my morning cuppa (I just have to train Himself to bring me one)!

I’m an honourary member of my sister-in-law’s book  club, which is great but as 60 miles separates us I’ve been thinking about virtual opportunities for book-clubbing (likely to be the only kind of clubbing that’s ahead of me, thanks to the latest birthday)!   Still, checkout the new Virtual Book Club page and if anyone has any thoughts or wants to get involved, we could give it a go!